Locke’s top 8 East London coffee shopsDate: 04 Aug 2016
If there’s one thing more bountiful than pigeons in the city, it’s probably the number of Starbucks, Costas and Café Neros. However, for those that treat coffee like their wine and want an ambience to go along with it, London isn’t Seattle but comes very close.
Here is a list of our favourite independent caffeine corners in East London, where there’s a high chance the barista knows your name.
1. Best place to wake up (loud music and coffee)
The Shoreditch Grind
213 Old Street, London EC1V 9NR | T: 020 7490 7490
If you are looking for great (a little loud) music and good coffee, this is the place for you.
With a super chic hipster setting overlooking the glamorous (maybe not) Old Street Roundabout, the 5-year-old Shoreditch corner, recording studio and bar offers amazing coffee, cakes, pastries, small plates, and cocktails all day long.
Don’t go in without looking up to the old school cinema sign above the main entrance, where the slogan changes daily. It just might make you laugh.
2. Best place for a healthy breakfast and coffee on weekdays
Ozone Coffee Roasters
11 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4AQ | T: 020 7490 1039
The relaxed, quirky and organic atmosphere of Ozone Coffee Roasters makes it one of our top 5 places to get your caffeine fix in East London. The Old Street venue has deliciously fresh, quickly prepared brunch (you have to try the Eggs benedict on summer bubble ‘n’ squeak cakes with hollandaise).
The real highlight of this spot is the fact that they roast their own coffee in the basement (you can’t get any fresher than that).
3. Best place for Sunday brunch and coffee
Long White Cloud
151 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL | T: 020 7033 4642
Like to spend your Sundays buying flowers and listening to buskers at Columbia Road? What about a pit stop at Long White Cloud? Have one of the best cappuccinos in town and delicious scrambled eggs on toast with smoked salmon and avocado brunch while enjoying the new photography exhibition by @artmemos, the Kiwi mum.
4. Best place for fashion inspiration and coffee
100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ | T: 020 7613 9800
As soon as you walk in, you may feel like you want to change your career path and become a barista (too cool for words). The guys behind the bar not only serve a beautifully decorated coffee, they also awaken your fashion sense and inner rebel.
One of our favourite things about this coffee corner in the lobby of the Ace Hotel is that it can go from drinking the beans to dancing to the beat of the live DJ set at night.
We don’t know if it’s the great coffee or the excellent non-commercial music (ok, sometimes is a bit weird, but we still like it) but there is something about this place that makes you either want to grow a beard or suddenly change your outfit for a vintage one.
5. Best place for Coffee and Cake
135 Brick Ln, London, E1 6SB | T: 020 7998 1388
If you go there on a Sunday (Brick Lane market) chances are, you won’t get a table, but it might be worth trying. There is a very creative, entrepreneurial vibe (you might overhear the next “unicorn” start-up idea) but this is probably not the best part. The East London venue not only has excellent and ethically sourced coffee and mouth-watering cakes, (red velvet cake and a Latte is a must) but also, the Brick Lane coffee shop runs as a charity with all profits going to support community projects.
Ok, in theory, our list should finish here and we know the next two are not exactly in the heart of East London but… seriously they just have to be on the list.
6. Best place for fresh coffee
11-13 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QD | T: 020 7833 8115
Freshly roasted coffee, a real hipster decor and quirky staff is the essence of a great experience at either the Kings Cross or Exmouth market branch of Caravan bar and coffee shop.
This busy spot impresses its customers with an amazing selection of healthy dishes (a bit pricey) as well as cool juices, smoothies and of course, the unbeatable green coffee. This comes from single farms around the world where the focus is quality and sustainability.
7. Best place for Latte, Brownies and coffee education
23-25 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7TE | T: 020 7242 0467
This large modern cafe located on Leather Lane is the home of tasty coffee, delicious brownies, homemade food, coffee tasting and our favourite, the barista courses.
Jeremy Challender (UK Barista Championship Head Judge) and his friend and mentor, Gwilym Davies (World Barista Champion)are the ones behind the coffee programmes, so if you are planning to have a barista career in Miami (the guys from Panther Coffee are hard to impress) all you need to say is that you took the latte art class at Prufrock and taddaaa, the job is yours.